Are you feeling alone right now?

by Jo Flack | 13 Nov 2020

Here’s some helpful advice to help tackle loneliness.

Loneliness is the feeling which tells us that our needs for Emotional Connection and Community are unmet. Our Trainer Jo Flack gives us some helpful tips to tackle loneliness.

If you are feeling lonely, it’s useful to understand that it is natural to feel like this some of the time. Everyday connections with friends, family and community are key to keeping us emotionally well. When these need as are unmet, loneliness is the message we receive from our brain prompting us to re-connect.

It’s important we learn to recognise our feelings as messages telling us what to pay attention to so we can take action, however small, to meet our needs.

Here, we will explore some tips and ideas to help us tackle feelings of loneliness. Different things will work for different people at different times, so have a go at the suggestions that you feel will work best for you. And if some of them don’t feel possible for you right now, then try something else or come back to them at a time when it does feel right for you.

Tips to tackle loneliness:

  1. Spend some time with friends or family members, such as going for a walk or arranging to have a catch up on a park bench
  2. Even if you are staying at home, you can explore different ways to spend time with others. Try a video call – perhaps over dinner to create a sense of shared enjoyment. You could invite people to join an online quiz, connect through online games such as Scrabble, Cluedo or video games, or if you are unable to access technology, then schedule in a weekly telephone call with someone you care about
  3. Now may be a good time to check in with people you have lost contact with, whether it’s through social media, text chat, by picking up the phone or even writing a letter/sending a greetings card. Many of us love having contact with people we have lost touch with, and this could be the perfect time to re-connect
  4. You could also do things you enjoy that help create a sense of being in company, such as listening to the radio, tuning into podcasts or taking a walk in a public space. Or join in as an audience member – indulge in a night at the ballet, take in a show or laugh along to a comedy act
  5. There is also a wide variety of classes and courses available – both online and in person – that can help you link in with others whilst also getting a sense of achievement and meaning and purpose. Maybe start by thinking about activities you have enjoyed in the past and research any local courses and classes you could give a go
  6. Another way to stay connected is to try some volunteering. There are now a variety of volunteering opportunities out there that you can do from home. Visit the Volunteer Suffolk website or Suffolk Mind’s Volunteering page for opportunities near you
  7. And remember, if you are struggling with a sense of loneliness, you are not alone. Maybe you have a neighbour who is also feeling isolated that you could chat to over the garden fence, or bake a cake for, or help out with shopping. And you can always reach out for support via an online community such as national Mind’s Side by Side, or by calling Suffolk Mind’s Suffolk Night Owls telephone support line.

Updated July 2023

by Jo Flack
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